Nonprofits and BofA Give $175K for Renew Collaborative

December 2, 2018 — Two Boston nonprofits—Combined Jewish Philanthropies and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley—and Bank of America last week announced they will commit $175,000 for a first-in-the-nation partnership, under the auspices of another nonprofit, HomeStart, aimed at preventing homelessness in Massachusetts and improving educational and financial outcomes for children and families at risk.

The new partnership will support expansion of the successful Renew Collaborative model to the South Shore, developed by HomeStart in Boston, which helps individuals obtain housing. The Collaborative is a public-private-nonprofit model aims to significantly reduce eviction rates for non‐payment of rent.

Bank of America, Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), HomeStart, and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley said they will work to leverage additional funds to replicate the Renew Collaborative through partnerships between local service providers, housing authorities, and property management companies.

“We created the Renew Collaborative, a collaboration between a landlord, tenant, and service provider and, in doing so, created a disruptive social innovation that is systemically changing the eviction crisis,” said Matthew Pritchard, president and executive director of HomeStart. “This partnership model has prevented more than 2,000 evictions. Even more powerful is the stability it brings to families in need. Our data shows that 48 months after the intervention, 95% of our clients were not evicted and remained housed.”

United Way President and Chief Executive Officer Michael K. Durkin said, “Given Greater Boston’s expensive housing market and low supply of affordable housing, recovering from an eviction is extremely challenging and disruptive.

"Often, already struggling families face a precipitating economic event -- a layoff or medical bill that resulted in eviction and ultimately homelessness. United Way is proud to partner with Bank of America and CJP to prevent more evictions, scale what’s working and help more people in need.”

Added Marc Baker, president and CEO of CJP, the region's Jewish Federation: “CJP has always prioritized working with our community and beyond so that all people can thrive, and no one in any community can do that without safe, stable, and dignified housing.

"HomeStart's groundbreaking eviction-prevention model is leading the way on keeping families in their homes and preventing the devastating effects of eviction. Our core Jewish values include a deep commitment to justice in our larger world, and we are proud to partner with other major foundations to support this tremendous work being done throughout the city of Boston."

According to the Eviction Lab, founded by Matthew Desmond, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted and a HomeStart advisory board member, in 2016 there were 15,708 evictions in Massachusetts, the equivalent of 42 evictions per day. Cities with the highest rates include Boston, Worcester, Fall River, Brockton, and Quincy.